The NBA can be a brutal business, especially if you get exiled to Cow Town in a trade. The Indiana Pacers continued the implosion of their team when they agreed to trade two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis, Justin Holiday, and Jeremy Lamb to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, and Tristan Thompson.
To sweeten the deal, the Kings also receive a second-round draft pick in 2027 to complete the trade with the Pacers.
This is the second notable trade rom the Pacers in the last 24 hours, but they could move more players with the trade deadline less than 48 hours away. Yesterday, the Pacers and Cleveland Cavs agreed on a trade for shooting guard Caris LeVert. The Cavs sent the Pacers a couple of draft picks, including the 2027 second rounder which the Pacers used as a sweetener for the Sabonis trade.
|NBA TRADE PACERS & KINGS|
|INDIANA GETS||SACRAMENTO GETS|
|Tyrese Haliburton (PG)||Domantas Sabonis (PF/C)|
|Buddy Hield (SG)||Justin Holiday (SF)|
|Tristan Thompson (PF)||Jeremy Lamb (SG)|
|2027 2nd Round Draft Pick|
The Kings were mentioned in numerous rumors prior to the trade deadline. However, they recently let the Philadelphia 76ers that they were no longer interested in the Ben Simmons drama.
The Pacers (19-36) are in tank mode and occupy the #13 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Kings (20-35) fired Luke Walton after a 6-11 start to the season, but they went 14-24 since then and slipped to the #13 seed in the Western Conference.
Sabonis to Cow Town
Sabonis, 24, has been a fantasy basketball stud the last few seasons because he fills up numerous statistical categories. He averages 18.9 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game this season. Last season, he averaged a career high 20.3 points with the Pacers.
Last year, the Pacers signed Sabonis to a four-year contract worth nearly $75 million. He’s due $18.5 million next season and $19.4 million in 2023-24 before he becomes a free agent. Sabonis will only be 28 by then and still have a couple of prime years, so he just has to endure 2.5 more seasons with the Kings before he gets his freedom after this trade.
Justin Holiday is a journeyman small forward who averages 11 ppg with the Pacers this season. The Kings will mark his eighth team in eight seasons since entering the league in 2012. He also had different stints with the Chicago bulls.
Jeremy Lamb saw limited action off the bench for the Pacers this season. He averaged only 7.1 ppg and barley cracked Rick Carlisle’s rotation. He averaged a career 15.3 ppg with the Charlotte Hornets back in 2018-19, but his career hit the skids since he joined the Pacers in 2019.
Haliburton and Hield to Indy
The Kings wanted to keep leading scorer De’Aaron Fox and try to rebuild a team around him, but Hield had been on the trading block the last two seasons. He’s a high-volume scorer that wanted out of Cow Town badly and his relationship with the team rapidly deteriorated over the last couple of seasons. Hield finally got his trade wish, but it’s still unknown if the Pacers will keep him for their rebuild, or deal him elsewhere.
At the peak of his powers, Hield averaged 20.7 ppg and shot 42.7% from 3-point range as a starter back in the 2018-19 season. This season, Hield was relegated to Sixth Man duties, where he averaged 14.4 ppg.
The Kings selected Haliburton with the #12 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, which was a head scratcher considering they already had Fox. It was only a matter of time before they dealt either of them, but at least Haliburton gets a chance to thrive in a better franchise.
Haliburton averages 14.3 points and 6.4 assists this season while sniping 41.3% from 3-point range. He showed promise as a rookie last season averaging 13 points and 5.3 assists per game.
Tristan Thompson won an NBA title with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavs back in 2016. After nine seasons with the Cavs, Tristan played one season with the Boston Celtics and a half-season with the Kings. Thompson is most known in reality TV circles as the father to Khloe Kardashian’s daughter, but he allegedly cheated on her when she was pregnant, which caused a subterfuge of drama in the Kardashian universe.